When the landmark Hong Kong-Shanghai equity link debuts on Monday, a class of investors that China has kept at arm's length until now - hedge funds - are expected to plunge into mainland shares.
And rules for the coming stock "connect" mean that these more aggressive players will likely be ahead of the pack, as they are not constrained by operational and legal issues that will keep many long-term institutional investors from participating.
The expected influx of foreign hedge funds, who bring a shorter-term focus, will cause jitters about increased volatility in China's already wild stock market. China has favored long-term asset managers when allocating quotas under an existing investment program known as QFII, forcing hedge funds to "rent" quotas from banks.
The opening-up to hedge funds creates a dilemma for Beijing, torn between a desire to protect its market's heavy retail investor base and liberalize its capital account.
Beijing aims to control inflows and volatility hikes by imposing a daily quota of 13 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) plus restrictions on short selling. Analysts say mainland regulators will monitor activity carefully.
"The Chinese government has been worried about protecting its citizens, as hedge funds are more sophisticated," said Anthony Tse, chief executive of Hong Kong-based hedge fund Pangu Capital. "But letting in these firms is part of any evolution of a capital market."